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Local News

Santa Barbara Putting Proposed Budget to the Public

Hearings and work sessions are planned ahead of adoption by the City Council

Santa Barbara city staff will present a $253.8 million operating budget for 2012-13 to the City Council with options to eliminate the $2.7 million deficit.

The proposed options are the same as past years: eliminating 10 vacant positions, negotiating for $1.84 million in concessions with nonsafety employees, and one-time savings through lower workers compensation fees and utility project costs.

The city expects to use $11.8 million in reserves and $239 million in revenues for next year.

This year’s General Fund budget is expected to come in at $98.6 million spent, several million dollars below the adopted budget. For the next two years, the proposed expenditures for the General Fund are each increased by $4 million, to $102.6 million for 2012 and $106.7 million for 2013, according to the city’s recommended budget documents.

Staff propose reopening the Central and Eastside branch libraries during the two weeks in December, and funding capital improvement projects including playground equipment at Chase Palm Park and data management systems. The proposed capital budget is $33.7 million.

There’s a proposal to use $135,000 in Redevelopment Agency funds to expand the Restorative Policing Program to more on-street staffing and outreach workers. The effort will deal with transient-related issues in downtown and East Beach, and it’s modeled after Santa Monica’s program, which has been heralded by community leaders in the Milpas Community Association and other organizations.

To give input on the budget process, public hearings and budget work sessions will be held throughout May and June before the City Council adopts a budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Click here to view the schedule online.

» Thursday, April 21: Special budget work session in the Council Chambers from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Finance, administrative services, city attorney, city administrator’s office, mayor and council, and non-departmental departments discussed.

» Monday, May 2: Special budget work session in the Council Chambers from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Community development, Redevelopment Agency and library departments discussed.

» Thursday, May 5: Special budget work session in the Council Chambers from 9 a.m. to noon. Public works department discussed.

» Monday, May 9: Special budget work session in the Council Chambers from 6 to 9 p.m. Parks and recreation department, and creeks and golf funds discussed.

» Thursday, May 12: Special budget work session in the Council Chambers from 9 a.m. to noon. Airport, waterfront and solid waste fund discussed.

» Monday, May 16: Special budget work session in the Council Chambers from 6 to 8 p.m. Police department discussed.

» Monday, May 21: Special budget work session in the Council Chambers from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Fire department discussed.

» Thursday, June 2: Special budget work session in the Council Chambers from 9 a.m. to noon. Finance Committee recommendations.

» Thursday, June 9: Final City Council budget deliberations in the Council Chambers from 9 a.m. to noon.

» Tuesday, June 21: Budget adoption at regular City Council meeting.

Click here to view a summary of the recommended budget for fiscal year 2011-12. Click here to view the adopted budget for fiscal year 2011-12.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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